CES 2010: Lojack for Laptops moves into consumer space

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Absolute Software’s Lojack for Laptops, which can track lost or stolen laptops if and when they log back onto the Internet, has traditionally been considered a corporate product — but the company is broadening its consumer options. Presenting as an Intel partner at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, Absolute is making a play for consumer buyers who are worried about the loss of a portable PC.

In broad strokes, Lojack for Laptops is will signal the location of its host laptop if the hardware is reported stolen. Absolute has a recovery staff that includes retired law enforcement professionals that will work to recover the physical hardware. We’ve neglected to cover this software in the past because it’s generally limited to certain Intel chipsets that have the Lojack software installed in the BIOS (where an OS wipe can’t remove it) and because, for most consumers, recovering a stolen laptop rarely means recovering the data that was on it (thieves generally wipe the drive for resale).Absolute has begun addressing these issues.

First, the number of Intel chipsets that OEMs can include the Lojack BIOS implant is growing, with a number of Dell and Lenovo products on the list. Second, because even without the BIOS component, Lojack can be of some use to consumers. Absolute can remotely wipe data on a lost PC if it connects to the Internet, so your browser history (and all your login passwords) or your My Documents folder (with all those incriminating vacation photos) can be deleted before they come back to haunt you. Thus, if your data is backed up, a lost laptop is just a hardware loss, rather than a security exposure.

Lojack for Laptops has variable pricing based on the level and length of service coverage, but basic plans begin at $24.99 per year.

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